I don’t get on well with cross stitch. I’ve tried it in the past and given up before finishing. I frequently lost my place in the pattern and/or my top stitches went in two different directions. Big sis doesn’t have any problems with cross stitch and when she bought Michael Powell’s cross stitch book and started on one of the designs while I was still visiting, I was tempted to have another go at a (small) cross stitch piece so I took a copy of the White Village pattern and got myself organised early yesterday with threads and 14 count aida.
Before putting needle and thread to aida, I looked through some of my needlework books and the internet for tips suitable for a leftie like me who normally prefers winging it with needle and thread, as opposed to following a set pattern but apart from nearly all of the articles advising me to ‘start in the middle’ without telling me why I should, none of them actually gave me much information that was specific to cross stitch beyond the essentials on suitable fabric, needles, and starting and finishing the stitches themselves. Maybe there isn’t any.
Big sis uses a magnetic board to which the pattern is clamped with a ‘ruler’ which you reposition on the pattern so you know where you’re at (except when Dave’s wagging tail occasionally swipes her ruler out of position) but not wishing to lay out loadsa money on accessories for something I might never do again, I used an old placemat and a length of stiff card attached by a spring clip at either side. Works so far.
Although I have completed not quite half of the design, I have kept my stitches all going in the same direction (but I really have to concentrate) and have already miscounted a couple of times and had to unstitch. I had marked the centre with tacking stitches both ways but at only 32 x 47 stitches I didn’t think it would matter too much that I didn’t actually ‘start in the middle’ and you can see that I’ve already unpicked all but a short length of tacking. I made the ‘steering wheel cover’ to keep the excess Mad Hatter fabric clean and out of the way of the needle and this time it also stops my threads catching on the rough edges of the aida fabric.
I hope that I do Mr Powell’s design justice. I didn’t have all the colours in his list so tried to match his suggested Anchor equivalents with the DMCs that I have. I love Mr P’s art work but have always baulked at the thought of turning them into cross stitch.